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The Adrienne Blouse from Friday Pattern Company.

The Adrienne Blouse from Friday Pattern Company is (described in their words) ‘a knit top with billowy statement sleeves that are gathered up at the shoulders and hems with elastic. The length is slightly cropped with the hem hitting just below your bellybutton’. Very nice.

Line drawing from Friday Pattern Company.

I’ve been sitting on the fence about this pattern for a while. I wasn’t sure that the style was very ‘me’ if I’m honest, and I was worried that the voluminous sleeves might swamp me as I’m only 5’2″, (thinking that the impression of excess width might make me look smaller).

It wasn’t until I read a blog post by lovely Sarah here that I realised that the pattern has adjustment markings on the sleeve piece that enables you to alter the fullness of the sleeve easily before cutting it out! When I realised how easy it was, i was ON IT!

I slimmed the sleeve down by 4″. This has resulted in the perfect sleeve width for me and now I am asking myself why I held back in the first place – I really like it! I feel like the sleeves are still statement – just not shouting as loudly!

The pattern was really quick to cut out ( such a chore don’t you think – especially when you are matching stripes), as there are only three pattern pieces – the bodice ( same piece for both the front and the back), the sleeve and the neck band. I used the same fabric for the neckline band, but it would be super lovely cut from ribbing fabric.

My measurements are 34-29-38 and I cut the size medium.

I liked the construction of the blouse – especially how the sleeves are gathered at the top with elastic before they are attached to the bodice. The pattern gives you recommended elastic length suggestions, but I actually sized down my elastic lengths (for the sleeve head and the cuffs) and cut the ‘small’ length in the elastic for both. For me this is just right!

Something that confuses me a little is how different the neckline looks on different people’s makes. When searching the hashtag #adrienneblouse on Instagram, I noticed that some of the necklines seem to sit higher (like mine) and some are really much lower. The sample used for the pattern itself also shows it as being much lower cut than my version. I can only guess that this might be due to the amount of stretch in your neckband piece?

The cuff openings are generous (even when using the ‘small’ size recommended length), however I’m glad that I didn’t just measure my wrists and make my own length as I would have been tempted to cut the elastic smaller, and this opening as it is allows the sleeve to slide up and down your arms easily when reaching out for things. One of my pet hates is feeling restricted by tight cuffs when you lift your arms up.

Oh, I also would not consider this a cropped length at all on little old me. I cut the pattern length as it is, and it feels neither short nor long. Kind of t-shirt length if that makes any sense!

The fabric that I used was a lovely jersey knit which I picked up from a #sewbrum sewing meet-up a couple of years ago, from the fabric swap table. Thank you so much to whoever dropped this generous length into the swap because in additon to making this blouse it has also made the Tilly and the Buttons Tabitha dress that I blogged about here.

And there’s more…

You know that cheeky little half metre of so of jersey that you always seem to have left but is not enough to make another garment? Well what about cutting it into strips to make t-shirt yarn and crocheting yourself a little basket?

Ta dah!!

Initially I wasn’t quite sure how to make my leftover KNIT fabric into continuous strips of t-shirt yarn ( I really didn’t want to have joins in it if at all possible), and despite knowing how to do this with woven fabric to make bias binding, I knew it would be slightly different with a knit fabric. Luckily I came across this youTube tutorial here and it worked! Thank you @thediymommy

Whilst I was over on youTube I came across this tutorial by GratiaProject which shows how you can use the ‘cross stitch single crochet’ stitch to make a basket using t-shirt yarn. I have never even heard of this stitch so I was ALL OVER IT! Let’s learn something new why not? Turns out the tutorial is fabulous, the stitch is really easy, and even though the stripes in the fabric make the stitch quite hard to make out I hope that you can kind of see the pretty cross pattern that it made. Thank you @gratiaproject_crochet and when I get a chance I would love to make another in a plain knit fabric yarn so that the stitches are easier to see.

I have a small amount of yarn left, to crochet into a little project another time, but I feel that using almost every scrap of this fabric has been so satisfying, especially as it was ‘donated’ in the first place. I’m chuffed with my new blouse and basket, and the sun is shining as I type this. What more could you ask for? 🙂

Do search #adrienneblouse on social media if you are looking for more inspiration.

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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Fibre Mood Elodie

Issue 12 of the latest Fibre Mood magazine is out today, and I was lucky enough to take a peek at the patterns that it contains a few weeks ago, and choose one to share with you on launch day today *

It wasn’t an easy choice, there are lots to choose from, I think that there are twelve, including three children’s patterns.

In the end I opted for The Elodie Dress, which looks deceptively simple, but actually features some lovely details when you look a little closer.

The basic dress is a simple round necked bodice with a centre back zip and an a-line skirt. Add to that the long puffed sleeves with statement cuffs, optional ruffle at the hem of the skirt and waist casing with tie belt and you really have something special.

The pattern calls for the fabric to have ‘fluid drape’, so I chose this floral viscose from Sewisfaction. I was drawn to it because of it’s olive coloured base, and I adore how it is absolutely covered with pink and blue flowers.

I chose to make a size 10. Looking at the size chart, it puts me in a size 12 bust, and 10 hips and waist. Then checking the finished garment sizes with ease, went for a straight size 10 as it looked like this would be spot on. The finished fit of the dress feels good. My measurements are 36-29-38.

Before cutting out, I had a good look at the pattern design to check if I might need to make any changes to the paper pattern before I cut into my gorgeous fabric.

I knew that the length of the dress would be too long for me. So that I could get a rough idea of the length I pinned the front bodice, waist casing, skirt and ruffle together and held it up to me in a full length mirror to see how long it looked. This only gives me a rough idea of course, but it told me that I definitely needed to take some length from the skirt. (the bodice length looked roughly ok). So before cutting out I shortened the length of the skirt pattern piece by 10cm. (I’m 5’2″ for reference).

The bodice of the dress is very simple. It has a high round neckline which is finished with bias binding. I had enough fabric left over to make my own bias tape from the dress fabric. An 8″/20cm invisible zipper sits at the centre back neckline and the bodice is fairly loose and relaxed meaning that no bust darts are required.

Gold mirror acrylic button necklace from my shop here x

The sleeves. Take a moment to appreciate. They are magnificent don’t you think? Nicely gathered at the front, top and back ensures they have volume to say the least, but somehow they’re not ‘over the top’ which was what I was worried about. They feel like they should be on this dress, and it would be a shame if they weren’t.

On the original pattern the sleeves finish with an exaggerated long open cuff finished with a button and rouleau loop. Whilst some would say that this is the main feature of this pattern, I just knew that I could not get on with a long open cuff, it would drive me crazy, so I just made a simple adjustment to the cuff pattern piece and cut out a basic rectangle (which needed 2 x buttons and rouleau loops per cuff), and I felt that this would be a more practical cuff for my everyday life.

I did hit a few problems here. Whilst I used the length of the original cuff pattern to ensure I had the same length cuff as the original, once they were sewed on I found that the cuff openings weren’t big enough to allow the sleeve to slide up my arms when I raised my hands above my head. I couldn’t lift my arms up! So I had to unpick these cuffs and make them longer in length (an extra 4.5cm in my case), giving them a wider opening when finished so that they gave me unrestricted movement when I raised my arms. It’s safe to say that my arms are not restricted now in any way! The depth of my cuff pattern piece was 8cm by the way.

Although they blend into the background, I self covered my buttons, which looks so pretty. Admittedly they are rather camouflaged so maybe a contrast button might have been a better ( and simpler) choice!

Camouflaged buttons!

The pattern doesn’t come with pockets in the skirt, so I added simple in-seam pockets to my version.

I like how the waist casing is made and attached to the bodice pieces and the skirt pieces. It’s clever how this is used as a casing for elastic and a faux tie is attached through the buttonholes in the casing where the elastic has been threaded through, to make it look like the tie belt is gathering the waist. Clever. Gotta love an elasticated dress right?

When the dress was finished I think I hit the jackpot in terms of getting the length just right. I certainly would have been sorry if I had shortened the skirt pieces by any more – phew!

* Disclaimer: I was kindly gifted my choice of the Elodie pattern by Fibre Mood to sew and share. As always my review is honest and all opinions are entirely my own. This post contains some affiliate links. This means that I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you if you click through and purchase something that I have linked to. Thank you.

I’ve ended up with a fantastic dress despite a few hiccups with the cuff sizing! It certainly took me longer to sew that I originally thought it would, so is not a quick make, but the style is very ‘me’ and I have no doubts that I will be returning to sew this pattern again and again.

Take care, and I’ll be back soon, Kathy x

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A classic brown knee length Jenny Skirt

Today’s blog post is special, because I am trying my first pattern from the lovely Nicola and Susan at Homer and Howells.

Homer and Howells are an exciting new pattern company based in Scotland and as I write this post, there are two sewing patterns in their shop – the Jenny , and the Cissy. I know they have a few more patterns up their sleeves, so I can’t wait to see what comes next…

The Jenny is a classic skirt. Choose either midi length (with a front split), or keep it short like I did (I cut my length at where the top of the split is marked). Patch pockets on the front of the skirt are optional, and the centre front zip fly was really good fun to sew.

 

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I have chosen to make my version in a dark brown cotton drill. I can’t quite remember where I bought this fabric from – it might even have been something that I picked up in a fabric swap – but I had just enough to make the knee length version. Turns out that dark brown is REALLY hard to photograph, and despite two photo ‘sessions’ (one indoors and one outdoors), I don’t think we were able to really pick out the details of the skirt very well after all. Let’s hope you can get some sort of idea with the shots that we did get.

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Oh by the way, my top is the original Tessuti Fabrics Mandy Boat Tee (free pattern) using the ‘one size’ pattern before they introduced different sizes on this pattern, and the lilac acrylic scissors necklace is from my shop! x

I have kept the front of the skirt nice and simple by leaving off the patch pockets. I did however add some pockets to the back of the skirt (not part of this pattern), but more about that later!

I wanted the skirt to feel really casual, a bit like a denim skirt, so I went for the topstitching big time! I used a matching dark brown topstitching thread and used it on the waistband, the centre front and back seams, the curve of the fly zip, and the back pockets that I added.

It’s important to try and make that curved line of stitching on the outside of the fly zip as neat as possible as it is so visible, so to help me I used a tracing wheel and some dressmaking carbon paper to trace the stitching line onto my fabric. It takes all the guess work out of where to stitch, and you end up with it exactly where you want it.

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I have only put in a fly zip once before and that was a long time ago, so I did wonder how tricky it would be, but the instructions were really great – I followed them to the letter and everything just fell into place perfectly!

The curved waistband has a snug comfortable fit with no gaping at the back of course, and fastens above the zip with a hook and bar. I made a size 12 at the waist and graded out to a 14 at the hips by the way.

So finally, I wanted to add  ‘jeans’ pockets at the back seeing as how I wanted it to have a casual feel. I simply cut out two jeans pocket pieces and traced out the stitching design that I wanted using the tracing wheel and carbon paper again, stitched out that design onto the pocket with the topstitching thread again and placed it on the back of the skirt where I wanted them, again attaching with topstitching. Can you tell that I love topstitching things! Take a shot each time I say topstitching! Ha ha!

I must say that positioning the pockets was a lengthy process! Pinning and adjusting pockets on the back of a skirt by yourself is tricky, and having not made jeans before I’m not quite sure what the tricks are for the perfect pocket placements, but I don’t think they’ve ended up too bad.

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I’ve ended up with a really lovely skirt, and one that I know I will wear lots and lots. It fits well, I love the length and the neutral colour means that I can have fun wearing it with all my favourite coloured tights.

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Thank you so much to the girls at Homer and Howells, who very kindly gifted me this pattern with no obligations. I am happy to share with you though because I really like it and hope you do too!

What’s your ‘go-to’ simple skirt pattern? I’d love to know.

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x